Texas Wesleyan University has unveiled plans for a new $20.25 million university center that will give the school a centrally-located hub for student life and connect more closely with its community.
The 44,000-square-foot Nick and Lou Martin University Center, is named in honor of Nick and Lou Martin of Fort Worth, longtime supporters of Texas Wesleyan and which will be located in the heart of campus. Lou Martin is currently a member of the Texas Wesleyan Board of Trustees and her father and grandfather also served on the board.
“We were honored to provide the leadership gift to get the fundraising campaign started for this important new facility at Texas Wesleyan,” Lou Martin said. “We were motivated to make this gift to encourage others close to Texas Wesleyan, and those who believe in its mission, to provide support to make this important center a reality.”
Texas Wesleyan officials said the Martin Center is the most significant capital project at Texas Wesleyan in more than a century.
“The Martin Center takes the energy and activity across our campus and community and centers it in one strategic location,” President Frederick G. Slabach said. “It is more than a new building – it will be the living, beating heart of our invigorated student life. A central place where students, faculty, staff, visitors and our community will come together to socialize, study and connect.”
The University is more than half way through its fundraising goal and the project is expected to break ground in 2018.
Located between the Eunice and James L. West Library and Canafax Clock Tower, the Martin Center will be approximately 44,000-square-feet and two stories tall. It will include a new student and family welcome center, food court, ballroom that can accommodate 300, bookstore and convenience store, spaces for student organizations and student life offices, lounge areas, meeting rooms and additional office space.
For the first time, Texas Wesleyan will have a centrally-located hub for student life and engagement in the heart of campus, and provide meeting space for east Fort Worth community leaders and friends.
The center is another step in Texas Wesleyan’s 2020 Vision strategic plan. Over the last five years, the University has nearly doubled its endowment, grown enrollment and invested more than $23 million in campus enhancements and improvements.
The Martin Family
Lou Martin is currently a member of the Texas Wesleyan Board of Trustees. Her family has been involved with Texas Wesleyan since it was founded in 1890. James B. Baker, Lou’s grandfather, served on the Board of Trustees from 1895 to 1912 and was instrumental to the development and advancement of Texas Wesleyan. Lou’s father, Edward L. Baker, served on the Board of Trustees from 1945 to 1969, one of the most transformational periods in the university’s history. During his tenure, Texas Wesleyan earned accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The architect for the project is Bennett Benner Partners. The Construction Manager at Risk firm is Balfour Beatty.